A turn-of-the-20th-century theatre repertory company rejects the latest project of their beloved playwright Tuccio, kicking off a saga of intrigue surrounding the influential critic Bevalaqua and star Celimene.
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It's the start of the 20th century, and Tuccio, resident playwright of a theatre repertory company offers the owners of the company his new play, "Illuminata". They reject it, saying it's not finished, and intrigue starts that involves influential critic Bevalaqua, theatre star Celimene, young lead actors and other theatre residents.Written by
Cinematographer Harris Savides (1957-2012) has an uncredited part as a theatre patron who walks up to John Turturro's character Tuccio, the resident playwright of the theatre, and says to him: "Did you see the play? I hated it.". See more »
[looking at a youthful and beautiful actress 20 years her junior, says wistfully]
Someday I shall look like that. I'm beginning to be able to play ingénues.
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The Play's the Thing...
This film shines from the loving direction that Tuturro lavishes upon Brandon Cole's screenplay. The entire cast is delightful, with Katherine Borowitz's loving and tormented Rachel and Christopher Walken's sexually aggressive Bevalaqua truly standing out. It was great to see a film about the theatre done so passionately, after the dull and trite "Shakespeare in Love".
I was mesmerized by the performances. Tuturro, Borowitz and Sewell moved so seamlessly in and out of characters that you often felt that you were in "Illuminata".
This film reminded me with an equally remarkable film, Louis Malle's "Vanya on 42nd Street". I'm going to have fire up the laser disc player on that one tonight.
If you are a fan of the theatre or works on the theatre, then "Illuminata" is certainly going to work its magic on you.
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